As I mentioned in my previous post, the short answer to why I’m now wearing scarves on my head is that I’m unhappy with my hair. What has been a source of angst for me for the past two and a half years is now a non-issue. Fantastic!
However, as I got ready to go back to work and anticipated some of the reactions I might get, both from students as well as from colleagues I’ve worked with for over six years, I realized that I needed to dig a little deeper and figure out the motivation underlying this decision.
I did some of the type of soul-searching that I haven’t done in quite awhile. Here’s what I came up with: I kind of don’t know who I am anymore. The ways in which I’ve defined myself for nearly my whole adult life have all shifted in the last few years, leaving me feeling a bit unmoored. I haven’t really noticed it until now because I’ve been so busy with being Everything I’m Supposed To Be.
My hair was really just the tip of the iceberg because that was one way in which I used to define myself (that girl with the long red hair) that’s now gone.
The deeper, but equally obvious change has been becoming a mother. Don’t get me wrong–I absolutely adore my kids and wouldn’t change anything about them for the world. Many of the changes they’ve brought have been welcome changes. That doesn’t change the fact that I’ve had to let go, or at least put on the back burner, many of the things that used to be very important to me. For two and a half years, I haven’t really been my own person because I belong to them right now, because they depend so entirely on me.
And then there is the incredibly deep issue that I can barely bring myself to write about. My faith and belief system has undergone an incredibly drastic change over the past decade. I still believe very deeply in the Bible and in the core values of the Christian faith. What I’ve completely lost faith in is the American Church. I am so disillusioned with what I see in the public/political face of the church right now. It physically pains me to see how so-called “Christians” portray themselves and the issues that they choose to take up. I feel the loss of this connection, this fellowship, very deeply and in ways I usually don’t let myself think about. When I do think about it, I despair of ever finding a faith-filled community who share my focus and values.
So, these are the deeper reasons why I cover my hair now. To show that I am myself…to be noticed as Me, but also as a way to both connect with my faith as well as set myself apart from what the church has become.